Reading, Technology, Thinking, Making, and Just having fun!
New Rotations...new challenges!
This year was full of changes and challenges! I loved having the classes for 50 minutes every six days. Some of them were bigger than others and kinder was a HUGE learning curve for all of us. But we did it! Mrs. Lea and I checked out about 40,000 books, saw six classes every day and had about 20 kids daily walk in to come and see us for new books, two book fairs, technology integration, MakersSpace and tinkering activities, painting (with REAL PAINT) during Dot Day celebration, Dr. Seuss celebrations, Story Book PumpkinPatch, World Read Aloud Day, March Madness and lots of laughing. And books. Lots of books were shared. How perfect can a job be?
You can put wires in water to make a speaker sing Happy Birthday!
MakerSpace was so much fun (and sort of a headache to get people to stop and clean up). Our PTA supported this venture with a very generous donation to purchase Legos, Marble Runs, two Spheros, Magentic Roller Coasters, supplies and a 3D printer. I started off just letting the kids explore and teach themselves. The Snap Circuits were a huge hit as were the cups for stacking. It was interesting to see how different classes chose activities to do. Some naturally gravitated to the technology side of MakerSpace while others chose building and hands on projects. I loved seeing the girls get involved with building and engineering activities. My favorite activity was the blanket a group of 5th grade girls knitted for Mr. Crawford's new baby. They taught themselves and it was a labor of love! The best part of all the activities was the discussion and problem solving I heard! Next year, I will integrate more tinkering and STEM activities.
Technology drove our instruction!
Oh my goodness! We learned so much together this year. We used Smore, Comic Life, iMovie, Powtoons, Tellagami, PuppetPals, ChatterKids, Lego Movie Maker, Bookabi, Pic Collage and coding, coding, coding. One of my favorite activities to do with the iPads was Rotation Stations. The kids used a different app at each station to create and share something about a favorite book. Fourth grade made posters showing Digital Citizenship on Comic Life and 5th grade created Powtoons to share what they learned about Digital Citizenship with younger grades. My 5th grade students taught 2nd grade different presentation programs for a research project. Database use was key. The purchase of PebbleGo was the best ever for young researchers. And my purchase of Capstone and MackinVia for ebooks was very popular, too!
March Book Madness
I wanted to make sure that books weren't actually lost in all the technology so we competed in March Book Madness. We had Team Classic vs Team Modern and all the school participated in listening to and voting on teams of books. I LOVED watching the kids make the choice when it was time to vote. Some of our friends were very passionate about the book they would choose and had such a hard time with their decision. "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" by Mac Barnett was the hands-down favorite across all grades! I actually met author Mac Barnett and had him sign a copy of the book for us. The kids decided I should not let it be a check out book because someone might not ever return it! I did, however, purchase multiple copies. Such a simple idea became a school wide activity that we all loved. It will be an annual event!
StoryBook Pumpkin Patch
This was our second year to have this fun event! We had over 200 entries. I was so impressed with their creative use of pumpkins! It was just a great activity to share their favorite character from a book. Next year I am going to really promote craft pumpkins. We had some real pumpkins explode and we still can smell them.
We danced. It's not your mother's library anymore!